Busting Dementia Myths and Misconceptions
There is no doubt that caring for a person suffering from dementia is challenging, but do you know what makes it even more taxing? It is the misconceptions that come along with dementia. Raising awareness and busting myths is imperative to reducing the burden for the caregivers caring for a dementia patient. The myths create confusion and can prove to be disastrous for the health of older clients. Especially those caregivers who are new to the industry must understand what all entails caring for a dementia patient.
The nature of the work of caregivers involves huge responsibility, for it involves the lives of human beings. One single mistake can cost you heavily and can also lead to the loss of life. So, to prevent such untoward incidents, caregivers need to know what is right and wrong. Educating oneself is very important because just having basic knowledge could prove to be a dangerous thing. So, here are some of the myths that need urgent attention to bust them and nip them in the bud.
One cannot live a Quality Life
This is one of the first things that come to the mind of the person living with dementia and this is absolutely a great myth that needed to be bust in the first place. People suffering from dementia can live a quality and fulfilling life. It all depends on the type of care they get and broadly on the caregivers who care for their clients. There is no permanent cure, but lifestyle changes will make the world of difference.
- A pill can fix everything
There is no magic pill that can cure a dementia patient. So, if you are asked to visit a clinic and take medication, it is not always true, unless you have some other health issues. A pill cannot work wonders for dementia, instead of joining support help groups. The support system is the key to living the best life one can imagine. Surrounding yourself with your people is another key to living a good life.
- Dementia is the end of the life
The stages in dementia are not just black and white; there is a lot in between the process. This misconception that dementia is just the end of the world does not hold. People in the early stage of dementia often say things like I forget things easily, you sound different than you used to, etc. The person suffering from any sort of illness would not want to be told how they feel. But, if still, someone tells you about their experience, the best thing to do is to listen and try to understand. Also, make them comfortable with the fact that it is not the end of the world. Life is and still can be made beautiful with dementia.
- Dementia is all about losing memory
People relate dementia only with the loss of memory. Although many causes begin by affecting the functioning of an individual’s brain, some symptoms do not affect memory. The only truth is, it is complicated, but not impossible to comprehend. The behavior and mood of dementia patients change every day, which requires immense patience on the behalf of caregivers and family members.
- Caregivers deserve pity
There are challenges for those taking care of dementia person. But, that is not the only truth. Caring for a dementia person can be immensely rewarding too. In most cases, dementia caregivers turn out to become a companion to their older clients. They even end up becoming a family to them, all because of the love and support they provide in the line of their duty.
- Through restraint, dementia can be controlled
Restraints like, physical and chemical do not solve the problem. Looking at the behavior of the person as communication or an expression of an unmet demand will bring forth benefits. First of all, by understanding the mood, caregivers can validate the need. This enhances the quality of life. The second benefit is that once the need is met, there is no need for restraint.
- Dementia is a part of aging
There is no doubt that with age, there is a risk of losing memory but after a certain age, not all have to suffer from dementia. If you are above seventy and facing a memory loss issue, does not necessarily mean you have dementia. There are a lot of other things that become the reason for causing dementia.
- It is not possible to enjoy life
Even with dementia, people continue to live an active life. They continue their hobbies and enjoy friendships and relations. Dementia does not make a person handicapped from not being able to do things, but with the right approach, support, and awareness, professionals, and caregivers, one can continue to live and enjoy life.
- Professional help is not needed
Even though there is a lot of information about dementia and its cure, you will require professional help to look after your elder dementia patient. This is because what works for one person may not work well for another. So, it is important to seek professional support. Nowadays, people prefer hiring in-home caregivers. They offer all sorts of services like home care as well as personal care services. One can also hire a professional caregiver with years of experience in caring for a person suffering from dementia. So, looking for professional help will always be an advantage, both for the family as well as the dementia patient.
- Caregivers know it all
As a family member of a dementia patient, you need to understand that caregivers are humans too, so they might miss things occasionally. Keeping in mind that caregivers always know what they are doing is not always true. Being a helping hand to caregivers would not only help you as a family but also help the caregivers and the patient. Each person behaves differently with dementia. So, if you as close ones know about the history of your loved one, share it with the caregivers in advance. There is no perfect handbook available in the market to cure and care for a dementia patient. The bottom line is to keep your heart and eyes open. By being curious and learning daily, you can reduce the pain and suffering of a dementia person.
Each experience with dementia is unique because of the symptoms and changing moods of the person. For caring for a dementia patient, caregivers are required to be on their toes and quite adaptable to the changing environment. For a dementia caregiver, it is essential to be patient, understanding, and less bossy. But, even before beginning the journey as a caregiver, it is important to bust the misconceptions and myths. This would help in delivering the best non-medical home care services as well as will bring clarity in the mind.
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